York versus Harrogate fixtures in the National League North have been dubbed “The Tea Rooms Derby” by sections of the media this season and North Yorkshire pride was at stake as York Schoolboys U12s played Harrogate for the first time, as Harrogate will be entering the League for the U13s season and were playing friendly matches in advance of then, for their newly formed squad. Harrogate may not be perceived as one of football’s strongholds, but in travelling to this fixture and passing the numerous junior matches and training sessions that were taking place on Harrogate’s Strays and School pitches, it certainly appears that Harrogate is a hotbed of the game.
On a glorious Spring day, York were quickly into their stride, playing some excellent attacking football and it was not long before they were 1-0 ahead. York attacked down the right and Reuben Pugh squared the ball to Ryan Evans who was on the edge of the box. Ryan flicked the ball up and showed great technique to hit a superb right foot volley hard and low into the right hand corner of the net, for a definite goal-of-the-season contender.
York’s second goal followed soon after when Ben Myers fed the ball into Ryan Evans on the left wing and his jinking run saw him go past two defenders before hitting a right foot shot that deflected off a defender to leave the Harrogate keeper wrong footed, and went in at the near post.
York nearly added to their lead when Reuben Pugh and Ronnie Kelly combined, for Ronnie to play in Liam Mainprize, but the Harrogate keeper made a fine save from Liam’s shot. Liam was not to be denied as minutes later Ronnie again found Liam and Liam calmly slotted the ball past the keeper to give York a 3-0 lead.
Liam soon gave York a 4-0 lead when a Ronnie Kelly shot was saved by the keeper, but Liam was first to the rebound and held off the challenges of a Harrogate defender to turn the ball in to the net.
York added a fifth goal after 30 minutes when a Paul Iggulden free-kick dropped to Will Almond whose shot was well saved by the Harrogate keeper, but it rebounded to Adam Clarkson, who hit a powerful low shot into the net.
York had to wait until the 45th minute to get their sixth goal. Will Almond played a great pass down the right hand channel to Ronnie Kelly who took a touch to hold off the defender and then hit the ball into the bottom far corner with a fine finish.
It was Ronnie who got York’s 7th goal when a Ryan Evans right-wing corner was headed back across goal by Paull Iggulden and Ronnie was there to score with a glancing header.
York rounded off the scoring to make it 8-0 and it was Liam Mainprize who got it to complete a much deserved hat-trick. Ronnie Kelly shot from just outside the box and the ball bounced up off a divot in front of the keeper and he could only turn the ball onto the crossbar and Liam was following up, as always, to tap the ball into an empty net.
Man of the Match – Ryan Evans
Ryan has put in many good performances in defence this season, where he reads the game very well and is always comfortable in possession. However in this game he showed just how devastating he can be to the opposition’s defence when playing as a winger. With the ball at his feet Ryan can go past a defender in either direction and consistently gets good shots in on goal or crosses into the box.